I am sitting in room 5508 at Spectrum Hospital. It is silent. Unusual for a hospital, but a bit eerie as I consider the journey we are embarking on as a family once again. I am here with my Aunt Anita. She and Uncle Bob are very dear to our family. God has not blessed them with children of their own and so they often join in our family celebrations and events. My nieces and nephews know them well and they are deeply loved and fully embraced. And so as Aunt Anita has drifted off to sleep with the help of an Ambien, I am struck by the sound of silence….
I think about last week Tuesday and how I was preparing for my Tapestry Party. The anticipation was building and the anxiety of my hard drive being wiped clean had gripped me. I broke down and cried after I learned all my pictures were gone, my slide show for the Tapestry Party, and many other things. It seemed like the worst possible thing that could unfold that week. I have new perspective today! Today I heard the doctors report post biopsy for my Aunt Anita. He said it will be a long road and the cancer has progressed to the pelvic walls. I heard his words and absorbed them. I know many are committed to the journey with them, no matter what twists and turns it takes. I began to hear the words to a song sung Sunday on the 9/11 rememberance….”Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows….I could not remember more of the words…I was overcome with the importance of speaking love, kindness and good words to my Aunt and Uncle on this journey….we are now battling one cancer….we do not need silence to be another!
And so, in the silence tonight, I am realizing that the journey begins again for Uncle Bob and Aunt Anita and all of us who love them. The same journey so many of you are taking either yourself or with someone you love. The journey of cancer and treatments….the journey of illness and unknowns….the journey of silence and all it holds. May you and I be people who speak into the silence with words of hope, love and encouragement. Words that speak of God’s presence and provision. Words that do not deny the gravity or fear that often comes with illness or life ending disease, but words that remind one another that we stand together. in the valley and on the mountain top. Aunt Anita felt crummy last week and I was delighted to see her walk through the doors at my Tapestry Party. She came to my mountain top. Today, I am with her in her valley and I would choose to be no other place than in the silence of this hospital room, wondering, hoping and praying. I hope you can speak into someone’s silence each day….either with words or presence.